Your yearly compliance audit is probably one of the most stressful times of the year. First you have to compile all of the relevant documents, then you’re faced with the tedious task of reviewing all of the paperwork for completion in line with audit requirements, and finally you have to file each document in time for the auditor.
Every year you probably tell yourself, ‘next year will be different, next year I’ll be more organised,’ but audit season rolls around again and you’re no more organised than the last year. In this blog we walk you through the elements you need in place to reduce your time spent on audit preparation.
A paper based nightmare
The problem is no matter how organised you are, with paper-based systems elements of the audit process are simply out of your control. The primary, and often the most time consuming one, is created by working with a field workforce.
A lot of time is wasted double handling documents. Paperwork is first delivered to the site, then completed by the field team, and finally returned to the office to be filed by the admin team. And even when documents are returned to the office, you need to ensure they are correct and complete every time. You probably know better than anyone, ensuring this happens is much easier said than done.
Paper-based systems only allow for reactive compliance management. Without real-time oversight over form submissions from the field, you are unable to verify that all audit requirements are fulfilled. Instead, you only become aware of missing information and potential non-compliance issues when you undertake audit reviews.
Easing your audit headache
In order to ease your audit headache you need a proactive approach to compliance management. You need to be able to:
- Ensure each and every team member is accurately filling out key paperwork in the field, without the need for someone to constantly force them to do so. Doing so removes the need for someone in your team to review each and every document in detail come audit time.
- Have audit compliance errors flagged as soon as forms are filled out, instead of at the point of review when compiling the audit.
- Have complete visibility of how your tracking against your audit obligations throughout the year, rather than just before your audit is conducted.
Make a move to digital
Using a paper-based system means you’ll never really be able to proactively take control of your audit process. A digital quality management system, however, provides a way for you to do so.
By customising your digital system, you can force behaviours and workflows that ensure non-compliance never becomes an issue. You can:
- Remove the paperwork all together, and digitalise all documents, eliminating time spent on manual filing.
- Implement a digital filing system so that any document can be found easily and quickly.
- Implement required fields so that work cannot proceed until these items are addressed. As a result, the time spent on reviewing audit documents is substantially minimised as you can trust that all information has been included.
- Flag and fix errors as they occur. If there are any data issues, you can see these in real time and resolve them immediately.
- Make form submissions required before any work takes place by restricting information flow to the field.
- Access real-time information so you are able to review your audit obligations at any time.
From our experience in implementing digital systems for businesses much like your own, this transition has resulted in 50% less time spent on the audit process.
Recently, a client of ours made the transition from paper to digital. Here is what they had to say:
“Before working with Kontrol4, UASG relied heavily on paper-based systems to manage their mobile workforce which was having major affects on productivity. We cut out 20,000 faxes per field-based staff member annually and eliminated up to 32 hours per month in administrative tasks performed throughout the day.”
Business Systems Liason Manager
How can I start a move to digital?
At Kontrol4, we are experts in digital quality management systems that ease the audit burden. We can work with you to redesign your entire processes and implement it effectively across your business.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 1300 99 67 67, so we can have a conversation around how you can use our technology to get ahead of your next audit.